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August 31, 2010
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The gentle light from the moon shimmered through the broken roof of a church in Sector 5 in the metropolis of Midgar. A lone girl was still in the church, when everyone else had long gone home. Her pink dress was illuminated by the limelight moon, and she was kneeling down to look at the flowers that grew in the old church. She breathed a sigh of both pleasure and exhaustion, for it had been a long day for her. But her pleasure didn't last very long.

A feeling of foreboding dropped down and covered her in its net, and Aeris lifted her head. She looked up at the open roof and glimpsed at the diamond studded cloak above the clouds. She had been reminded suddenly of her dear friend with whom she had fallen in love with; the Shinra mercenary who had fallen from that very gap in the roof not long ago. His azure eyes were hard enough to forget. But it was something else that shook the girl's reverie to the core; she knew that something was amiss.

She gazed up at the moon through the gap in the roof, immersing herself in its gentle white radiance. She could tell something was wrong, that her friend Zack was in trouble. But what could she do? He left to join the Shinra army on a mission. She was alone in Midgar, and all she could do was make use of her power to communicate with the planet. She knelt to the ground and clasped her hands to her chest, closing her eyes as she began to pray to the spirits of Gaia. Please be safe, Zack, she prayed, I don't want to lose you.


I pray you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know


Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your Grace
To a place where we'll be safe


A black clad figure walked away from the carnage that raged behind him. His jet-coloured spiky hair contrasted sharply to his companion's blond hair, spiked in the same way. The raven haired boy, Zack Fair, tottered forward while supporting his friend Cloud, who was limping in exhaustion from the near fatal wound he sustained back in his hometown of Nibelheim, where a tragic killing spree claimed the lives of his beloved mother and several other townspeople. He draped his arm around Zack's neck, slowing his friend down terribly.

"How could this have gone so wrong? Everything we believed in? What happened to SOLDIER honour?" Zack muttered.

Tears streamed freely down his eyes as they both ran away from the same people they once worked for. The same people who had ruined their lives more than they could have ever imagined.

Zack and Cloud had been friends since the day they met, both of them bonded by the simple fact that they were country boys that joined the Shinra Electric Company in Midgar to become stronger and braver and worthy of honour. But their path diverged, and while Zack had joined the ranks of an elite group of mercenaries known as SOLDIER, Cloud was deemed unfit to be considered. He did not have the right disposition to become a mercenary and was resigned to being a simple bodyguard.

They were sent to Cloud's hometown to investigate the local power plant. There, tragedy befell them as their leader Sephiroth discovered his true origins as a human guinea pig in Shinra's laboratories. The revelation drove him over the edge, and he unleashed the chaos that they now found themselves fleeing. Cloud defeated him in combat, but not before being wounded.

The rest of Shinra's private army arrived soon afterwards. Their intention was not to save the townspeople but to eliminate the survivors. No witness could be spared to inform the rest of the planet of their misdeeds. In the ensuing pandemonium, they deserted their mission and ran away.

They finally reached a cave near a cliff, where Zack laid his friend on the ground, folding his scarf under his head to form a pillow. Cloud fell asleep, exhausted from his fight with the crazed mercenary while Zack looked to the heavens. Despite everything that had happened, he still couldn't help but admire the diamond studded cloak that covered the planet. The night sky in Midgar was nowhere near as beautiful as it was now, and even in exile, Zack was happy to be where he was. But before long, he saw her again.

The flower girl from the abandoned church materialised right before his eyes for just a fleeting instant. Her gentle green eyes gazed at him and a small but noticeable smile formed on her lips. He gave a slight gasp as he felt an acute pang in his heart. It had been so long since he had seen that beautiful girl, Aeris, and he found himself wishing that he was with her. Even Cloud wouldn't mind being with her despite his reserved nature. All he wanted was to be safe once more.

He found himself kneeling down on the soft dirt in front of him, his hands clasped together. He wasn't a particularly spiritual person and he didn't know any formal prayers. But his desire to see Aeris overpowered him, and he prayed that he would get the chance before it was too late.

"Spirits of Gaia," he began, "I've never really prayed before, but I'm begging you to hear me out. Please let me be reunited with Aeris, and let my friend be safe from those who would harm us."

He closed his eyes, trying to summon up a memory of her in his mind. Before long, a shimmering figure appeared from the darkness of his closed eyes. It was Aeris, cloaked in a shimmering white light that surrounded her like a halo. At that moment, Zack knew that she was thinking of him.

La luce che tu dai
I pray we'll find your light

Nel cuore restera
And hold it in our hearts

A ricordarci che
When stars go out each night
L'eterna stella sei

Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer

Quanta fede c'e
When shadows fill our day

Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe.


His eyes still closed, Cloud's heavy breathing and all the sounds of the world outside his thoughts were blocked out. After all this time...I guess I realise now that I love her. That I always have, ever since the day I fell into her church and heard her voice. I thought she was an angel...it wasn't so far from the truth after all, Zack thought to himself.

His mind then flashed to the events that occurred, and he remembered Cloud at the mako refinery. After defeating Sephiroth, he rushed to the side of the tour guide who was supposed to guide them to the power plant. Her name was Tifa, and he could tell that Cloud was in love with her. He couldn't forget the words they exchanged, how happy Tifa was that he had made good on their childhood promise. He prayed again, this time imploring the planet to let them both be reunited with their loved ones.

La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind

E'il desiderio che
And watch us from above

Ognuno trovi amore
We hope each soul will find

Intorno e dentro a se
Another soul to love


Just as Zack sat down and gazed at the stars, Aeris opened her eyes and looked up again, the moon reflecting off her bright green orbs. Despite the chill of the night, she felt a warmth that she hadn't felt since the day she met Zack. Deep down, she just knew that he was thinking of her just as much as she was thinking of him.

"We'll see each other again...right, Zack?" she questioned.

A smile appeared on his face as he answered "We'll see each other again...Aeris. I promise,"


Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child


Needs to find a place,
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
E la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salvera
Hey,

This is another Zack x Aerith/Aeris fan fiction, although it also has a Cloud x Tifa angle to it.

The song used is The Prayer originally by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, although Josh Groban also did a cover of the song with Charlotte Church.

I heard this song in the hotel room with my father the same week I was getting settled into University, and I instantly thought about Aerith praying for Zack's safe return.

Not sure how well I did with matching the lyrics to the story, but comments and/or suggestions are more than welcome.

DISCLAIMER:

Aerith/Aeris Gainsborough, Zack Fair, Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockheart, Sephiroth, Shinra, Midgar, and Nibelheim are all (c) of Tetsuya Nomura (Nomura Tetsuya) and Square Enix.

Song is (c) of Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion

Preview image is (c) :iconsirenlovesyou: and can be found here:


Enjoy!
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:icondissidia012:
Dissidia012 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Student Writer
Ohmy!! It's a beautiful piece! Love the emotive theme. Very touching. It has great depth.
Love how you weave the song into it. I think i know the song, but that doesn't matter, the words are fitting.

this couple never fails to make me cry. I just listen to the music from CC and I'm :iconsadplz:
Reply
:iconnightshade-keyblade:
nightshade-keyblade Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Aww, I'm so glad you like it! :iconsweethugplz:

If you like it, feel free to check out the rest of my gallery. I've got other FF :heart: stories
Reply
:icondissidia012:
Dissidia012 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2012  Student Writer
I might when i get time! :tighthug:
Reply
:iconnightshade-keyblade:
nightshade-keyblade Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
All right! :hug:
Reply
:iconfflove1000:
FFlove1000 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Student Filmographer
wah love it <3
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:iconnightshade-keyblade:
nightshade-keyblade Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much! :heart:
Reply
:iconsaratryst27:
saratryst27 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011
Oh wow, this is beautiful. I love Final Fantasy, and I love how you've described it.
Reply
:iconnightshade-keyblade:
nightshade-keyblade Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much! :heart:
Reply
:iconallyndupe:
AllynDupe Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
This was really sweet. :aww: Emotional and tragic. <3 I love the Crisis Core story so much; and you just made me like it ever more!

:heart: Awesome work, Skander. (:
Reply
:iconnightshade-keyblade:
nightshade-keyblade Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much! :aww:

I just knew the song was perfect for Zack and Aerith when I heard it, and I was wondeing how well I did. I'm happy that you like it :heart:
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